Rack `Em Up – Progressive Victories from Coast to Coast
By Think Progress War Room
November 7, 2012
Center for American Progress Action Fund
While re-electing President Obama is obviously very good news
for progressives, so much more happened to bring progressive
change to communities across America. These victories are
further evidence of an emerging progressive majority in this
country that will help take us forward as we all fight for
change in ways large and small.
Here’s the rundown of some of last night’s winners and losers.
* The Facts: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan tried to run a
post-truth campaign that was fact free, deceptive, and
insulting to voters. They paid a heavy price for their
false claims about the auto industry in Ohio. Nationally,
voters affirmed that facts and a candidate’s policy
positions do matter.
* The Middle Class: Voters supported a president who will
make the investments in the middle class that we need to
create jobs now and grow the economy over the long-term.
President Obama will redouble his efforts to create an
economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.
* Equality: For the first time in history, voters embraced
marriage equality at the ballot box – and not just once.
In Maryland, Maine, and Washington state, voters approved
marriage equality referenda. In Minnesota, an effort to
ban same sex marriage was defeated. Wisconsin Rep. Tammy
Baldwin is also the first openly gay person elected to the
Senate; the person who won the House seat she vacated is
also openly gay. Nationally, voters rejected the most
anti-immigrant presidential ticket in history. In
Maryland, voters approved a state-level version of the
* Women: In addition to defeating a ticket that threatened
women’s health and economic security, a record number of
women were voted into office. The Senate will have a
record 20 women and the House will have at least 77, also
* Pot: Voters in Washington state and Colorado both
legalized the recreational use of marijuana, though it
remains a federal crime.
* New Hampshire: The state elected progressive champions
Anne Kuster and Carol Shea Porter to the House and will be
the first state to send an all-female House and Senate
delegation to Washington. Democrats also seized control of
the New Hampshire House back from the Tea Party extremists
who seized control of it in 2010.
* Maine: Democrats wrested control of both the Maine House
and Senate back from extreme right-wing Republicans who
spent the past two years pursuing attacks on voting and
unions, among other things.
* Minnesota: Democrats won back control of both the
Minnesota House and Senate. Republicans forced a
government shutdown last year because they refused to
raise taxes on the wealthy to close a budget gap, even
though Minnesota’s wealthy pay a lower tax rate than
everyone else in the state. The new majorities should be
able to work with Gov. Mark Dayton (D) to create a more
Minnesotans also rejected a constitutional amendment that
would have instituted Voter ID in the state. It had been
expected to pass. http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Minnesota_Voter_Identification_Amendment,_Amendment_2_(2012)
* Michigan: The state’s voters repealed an “Emergency
Manager” law that allowed the governor to seize control of
cities from their democratically-elected representatives
and put an unelected emergency manager with sweeping
powers in complete control. The law is most often applied
to communities with high minority populations.
Voters also rejected a measure that would’ve crippled the
state legislature by requiring a 2/3 majority to raise
* Iowa: Democrats maintained control of the Iowa State
Senate, meaning they can continue to stop attacks on
marriage equality, women’s health, and unions from the the
Republican-controlled House and Gov. Terry Branstad (R).
Iowans also rejected the latest effort by anti-gay
Christian conservatives to remove a justice from the Iowa
Supreme Court merely because he had joined the court’s
unanimous decision in favor of marriage equality. Three
other justices were successfully removed in 2010.
* Colorado: Democrats seized control of the Colorado State
House and will install the first openly gay Speaker of the
House. The current Republican Speaker blocked
consideration of a civil unions bill even though it had
the votes to pass.
* California: Progressive change happened in a big way in
one of the nation’s most progressive states. Yesterday,
* Approved a tax increase on households making over
$250,000 in order to fund education and help reduce
the state’s perpetual budget deficit.
* Reformed the state’s corporate tax code in order to
create billions in new revenue for clean energy.
* Modified the state’s “Three Strikes” law so that
most non-violent or non-serious third offenses don’t
automatically result in a life sentence. A similar
initiative failed by almost six points in 2004, while
yesterday’s initiative passed by more than 35 points.
* Rejected a right-wing effort to severely limit the
political activities of labor unions. Just days before
the initiative’s backers revealed that they broke the
law by laundering $11 MILLION in contributions through
out-of-state groups linked to the Koch Brothers.
* Gave Democrats a supermajority in both the
California Assembly and Senate, meaning Democrats can
finally overcome the 2/3 vote requirement needed to
raise taxes and make California governable and
solvent. Republicans have consistently blocked tax
increases, forcing governors to put any tax increase
* Tea Party Extremists: Voters tossed out some of the most
extreme voices in the U.S. House, including Joe Walsh,
Allen West, and Chip Cravaack. Michele Bachmann very
narrowly avoided defeat in her heavily-Republican
* GOP Candidates Who Made Offensive Comments About Rape:
From Todd Akin to Richard Mourdock to Linda McMahon, all
of the Republican candidates who made outrageous comments
about rape in recent weeks lost.
* Grover Norquist: Signing the Washington lobbyist’s
infamous pledge to never raise taxes became an anchor for
* GOP Donors: They donated billions, much of it to Super
PACs and secret money groups, in order to defeat President
Obama and Democratic Senate candidates. Polluter-backed
groups alone dumped $270 MILLION in TV ads during just the
final 8 weeks of the election. It didn’t work.
* Our Voting System: Voters across the country faced
almost unprecedented obstacles to casting a ballot.
Conservatives did nearly anything possible – legal and
otherwise – to keep people, particularly young people and
minorities, from voting. Early voting was curtailed,
onerous photo ID requirements were put in place, voter
registration was made more difficult, technical changes
meant to disqualify more ballots were implemented, dirty
tricks were employed, and the list goes on. The net result
was that tens of millions of Americans faced long lines
and other hurdles when attempting to exercise one of their
most basic rights. Millions more who might otherwise have
voted didn’t vote at all.
* Ending Medicare, Slashing Taxes on the Wealthy: By
selecting Rep. Paul Ryan (R) as his running mate, Mitt
Romney put the GOP plan to end Medicare as we know it in
order to slash taxes on the wealthy front and center on
the ballot. Voters rejected these plans and the GOP should
drop them once and for all.
* The Residents of Michigan’s 11th Congressional District:
They elected a man who actually believes he is Santa Claus
to represent them in Congress.
THINKPROGRESS – Center for American Progress Action Fund
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